For three days the news media has been chock-full of opinion pieces, background narratives, and hot takes about Joe Biden's VP pick in the presidential race, Bay Area native Kamala Harris. In the latest round, we hear from longtime local criminal justice activist Angela Davis, we have the Trump White House again floating a birther theory about a black person, and a rundown of Kamala's favorite recipes, wine, and burrito.
Angela Davis cites Harris's "troubling history." Everyone in progressive Democratic circles knew that if Biden picked Harris as a running mate, the immediate criticisms from the left would be about her history as a prosecutor and record on criminal justice. During an online fundraiser Thursday attended by about 200 participants, longtime Bay Area activist and former Black Panther Angela Davis said she "wasn’t excited at all" when Biden got the Democratic nomination — citing his role in authoring the 1994 crime bill that led to mass incarceration of people of color. And "Kamala Harris has a difficult history," Davis said. But she stressed the importance of simply removing Trump from office, and said, somewhat optimistically, "I think that, given the fact that Kamala Harris has been pressured in the past —perhaps not in the right direction — maybe she will be amenable to the kind of progressive radical pressure that we can exert in the future." [Chronicle]
Jared Kushner tries (poorly) to walk back President Trump's attempt to amplify a new birther rumor about Harris. Speaking with CNN's Christiane Amanpour today, Kushner gave some mealy-mouthed responses to the question of why Trump would try to promote another such rumor about a Black candidate, saying that Trump was only asked a question in a press briefing about comments made by someone else, and he said he knew nothing about him. In fact, that's not what Trump said — this fact-check piece by CNN quotes Trump as saying of the birther conspiracist, Chapman University professor John Eastman, saying he was "very highly qualified," and stating, "I heard today that she doesn't meet the requirements." Far from denying the theory, Trump only said, "I just heard about it, I'll take a look." For the record, Harris was born in Oakland to immigrant parents.[CNN]
The Chronicle talks about Kamala's wine and food choices. Kamala Harris is a big fan of — wait for it.... wait for it.......... — burritos from La Cumbre. It's a solid choice (it's on SFist's list of the city's best burritos, after all), a perhaps uncontroversial choice. But it's only uncontroversial if you accept La Cumbre's claim to being the originator of the Mission-style burrito in 1969, which fans and defenders of El Faro will tell you is bullshit because El Faro has a credible claim to having made the first Mission burritos eight years earlier, in 1961. And anyway, Cancun is still better.
Also, Kamala loves to roast a chicken but will put it unwrapped in the fridge overnight, loaded with salt, to dry out the skin first. And she grew up eating a lot of vegetarian Indian food because of her mom, who was born in Chennai. And beverage writer Esther Mobley praises Kamala's "great taste in wine," and revels in the fact that she's now the only VP or presidential candidate (besides maybe Kanye?) who drinks booze, with Biden, Trump, and Pence all being teetotalers. And she's a member at Rock Wall Wine Co. in Alameda, where she was even seen picking up her own wine shipment a couple months back. [Chronicle]
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